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Bronze - Firms: prosecution

A well-known and respected name in Germany, HOFFMANN EITLE’s Spanish counterpart is working hard to meet and exceed all expectations. The ensemble is praised for its service, which includes providing precise results at a reasonable cost. Its straightforward, commercially savvy guidance makes it a compelling choice for both start-ups and multinational corporations. With an impressive track record, Gustavo Fúster Olaguibel and Silvia Bertran Valls form the backbone of the practice. Dual-qualified Fúster Olaguibel handles validity opinions and infringement actions before the Spanish courts, while biotech whiz Bertran Valls has a knack for whipping large portfolios intoshape.

Bronze - Firms: infringement

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Highly-recommended - Firms: prosecution and nullity

Founded in 1892 – and with offices in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – HOFFMANN EITLE is one of the largest and most significant patent firms of its kind on the European stage. Handling over 400 patent applications each year, the group’s diversely capable team brings expertise in almost every subject area and communicates seamlessly with its international network, granting clients a worldwide service. Its record in oppositions before the EPO is almost unmatched, and its high-profile patrons include Regeneron, Popsockets and Sanofi. The Sanofi piece has been handled by Niels Hölder, who is as confident handling patent litigation as he is dealing with unfair competition disputes and licensing issues. Dealing with oppositions on behalf of Popsockets, meanwhile, is Claus Thomas Becher, an enforcement ace and medical devices boffin who has a background in mechanical engineering. His fellow mechanical engineer is dual-qualified patent attorney and attorney-at-law Frank van Bouwelen, who is known for crafting prosecution stratagems that span Europe, the United States and Asia. For electrical engineering matters, the first port of call is Veit Peter Frank, who is relied upon by high-end telecommunications entities to defend their rights in opposition proceedings, while on the life sciences side, the experts include Andreas Stefferl, Leo Polz, Joseph Taormino, Thorsten Bausch, Peter Klusmann, Morten Garberg and Joachim Renken. Start-ups especially value Stefferl’s support, thanks to his experience working with burgeoning biotechnology companies, while no EPO opposition is too challenging for trained chemist and biotechnology group co-head Polz. Heading the biotech group alongside him, Taormino holds a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, granting him both top-level technical expertise and a global outlook. Bausch co-heads the chemistry group alongside Klusmann – both are praised not only for their technical expertise, but also their client-friendly approach to cross-border litigation and prosecution, respectively. Garberg is dual qualified as a patent attorney in both the United Kingdom and Germany, which makes life easier for his countless chemistry patrons across the continent, while Renken is a biotechnologist with an impressive record in oppositions and a list of clients that includes some of the world’s leading universities. Anchoring the attorney-at-law side are Clemens Tobias Steins and Dirk Schuessler-Langeheine, both of whom work well with Japanese clients, thanks to their fluency in Japanese. Steins is the transactional specialist of the pair, while Schuessler-Langeheine is a force of nature before the courts.

Firm Profile

More than 150 professionals – patent attorneys, attorneys at law, engineers and scientists – work at HOFFMANN EITLE exclusively in the field of intellectual property. The HOFFMANN EITLE group is now present in eight essential economic centres in Europe – Munich, London, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Milano, Madrid, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

HOFFMANN EITLE has grown from just one founding member in 1892 into one of the largest IP law firms in Europe. Its long tradition of excellence is today combined with a truly modern approach to IP consultancy, which its many clients truly appreciate. Our commitment to quality and competence is illustrated by the numerous awards we have won and our consistently high ranking in major industry guides.

We offer comprehensive European IP services and competent advice in all technical and legal areas. Our team of more than 100 patent attorneys with European and national qualifications and various technical backgrounds files in excess of 4,000 patent applications each year. HOFFMANN EITLE is also the market leader in EPO opposition work and is highly regarded by its peers for its experience and expertise in this area. Due to the large number of prosecution cases handled by HOFFMANN EITLE, we have accumulated a wealth of experience, and are always aware of the current trends. This experience supports our litigation practice, which in turn feeds into our IP contract cases.

The experiences gained in litigation and contract matters allow us, in turn, to be more goal-oriented in our prosecution work.

Yearly achievements

  • Between 4,000 and 5,000 patents filed (EPO, German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) and PCT routes)
  • Between 100 and160 opposition proceedings commenced
  • Some 60 to 80 infringement or nullity actions filed
  • About 50 IP contracts advised on
  • Approximately 60 new trademark applications filed at the GPTO
  • Approximately 200 new EU trademark applications filed at the EUIPO
  • Approximately 50 new international trademark applications filed at WIPO

One of our greatest strengths is the interdisciplinary cooperation:

  • among our patent attorneys working in the fields of chemistry, biotechnology, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and information technology, as well as drafting opinions on the legal validity and infringement of IP rights; and
  • with our German attorneys at law in the areas of trademarks and designs and patent litigation and licensing, which are actively involved in many national and international infringement suits and consulting work.

Our forceful team of passionate patent litigators has profound experience in patent disputes in all relevant industries, including pharma and other life sciences, medical devices, telecommunication and automotive. Another key strength is our vast expertise in international coordination of multijurisdictional disputes, advising our clients regarding their overall European litigation strategy. Especially in the trademark field, HOFFMANN EITLE has extensive experience in searches and application proceedings, as well as in opinion drafting and litigation, and has often taken its appeals as far as the European Court of Justice.

Furthermore, the many IP professionals working at the various HOFFMANN EITLE offices closely cooperate with each other. These include IP specialists from Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the United States, Japan, Korea and China. These specialists enable the firm to provide multilingual advice supported by knowledge of various IP systems and the respective legal traditions in their home countries. In addition to this in-house group, HOFFMANN EITLE has a well-established regional and global network of associates.

Catering for all our clients’ IP needs

  • Filing and prosecution
  • Renewal fee payment
  • Litigation and contentious proceedings
  • IP transactions and contract issues
  • Expert opinions and worldwide representation

Clearly structured and organised formalities departments, supervised by patent attorneys, relieve patent attorneys from formal matters and enable them to focus on client and technical/legal issues, rather than paperwork pertaining to:

  • filing of patent applications;
  • term monitoring; and
  • annuities.

Cultural internationality

  • Several patent attorneys and attorneys at law fluent in Japanese
  • IP professionals from all over Europe and the United States, Korea, China and Japan
  • Strong client base in Japan (the firm files around 10% of all European patent applications originating from Japan)
  • also strong presence in the United States, South Korea and increasingly in China.
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